Work with World Bank to target high impact areas, SME Corp told

Entrepreneur Development Minister Redzuan Yusof.

KUALA LUMPUR: Entrepreneur Development Minister Redzuan Yusof today urged the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Corporation to work with the World Bank to identify the most profitable sectors in SMEs.

While Malaysia emerged as the top performer for the development of effective SME policies in Asean in a report, Redzuan admitted that Malaysia was lagging behind in legislation, regulation and tax processes for SMEs.

Redzuan added that Malaysia is behind in entrepreneurial education and skills training, as well as the development of social enterprises and inclusive businesses.

However, he praised Malaysia’s achievements through the launch of the National Entrepreneurship Framework in November last year and the upcoming launch of the National Entrepreneurship Policy.

“Malaysia has already made strides in areas related to entrepreneurship education, social enterprises and inclusive SMEs, but the development of SMEs especially in artificial intelligence should strike a balance with the B40 population,” he said at the National Asean SME Policy Index Dissemination Seminar at SME Corp today.

Redzuan said the B40 group needs to be educated to be included in SME development programmes.

“If the B40 is not ready then we have a problem. Even if you look at the data of who is paying taxes, it’s only a small percentage at the top who are paying tax.

“The B40 don’t pay tax. The B40 is very segregated in contributing revenue for the country,” he said.

The 2018 Asean SME Policy Index, which reports on SME development in Asean countries, placed Malaysia second behind Singapore in ranking. The index was based on SME development policies, environmental consideration, financing and SME access to local and international markets, the government’s institutional framework, and other SME-related factors.